Sickening sex attack on Tracie Aldridge shows we need to change attitude to consent

Tracie Aldridge is a brave young woman.

She gave up her anonymity after being sexuality assaulted.

Worse, the attack was filmed. Like many people reading yesterday’s Daily Record account of her ordeal, I felt totally sickened.

Tracie was sexually assaulted, as she slept, by Jordan Binnie, who had a history of violence. He got a 12-month sentence. The attack was filmed by Fraser Anderson who then posted it on the internet.

He was convicted of a breach of the peace charge and, unlike Binnie, will not be placed on the sex offenders register.

The Record reported that Tracie felt so humiliated she had to give up her job. I could well understand if it affected her health.

And I sympathise with her mum Nicola who believes her daughter was let down by the system.

If it was my girl, I’d feel exactly the same.

It’s all the more tragic because the system is just about to change to deal with exactly this sort of crime.

Last year, the Scottish Parliament passed the Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm Act.

It creates a specific offence of disclosing or threatening to disclose an intimate photograph or video.

At the time the law was passed – with support from all parties – the Justice Minister Michael Matheson said: “The new offence sends out a strong warning to anyone considering sharing such images…”

He said such behaviour was highly abusive, cruel and degrading.

The law was a victory for campaign groups such as Zero Tolerance and Victim Support Scotland who wanted the law changed to keep up with changes in technology.

The ability of mobile phones to film anywhere, any time and then for those images to be shared, has created new kinds of crime.

However, it does not come into effect until April this year – too late for Tracie.

Read the rest of my column here.

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